DanceStar USA links with Global Talent to push awards

MIAMI: In an effort to become the Grammy Awards of dance music and the club scene, DanceStar USA 2003, The American Dance Music Awards, is kicking off a worldwide PR and marketing campaign this week to increase awareness and public participation in its second annual American awards show.

MIAMI: In an effort to become the Grammy Awards of dance music and the club scene, DanceStar USA 2003, The American Dance Music Awards, is kicking off a worldwide PR and marketing campaign this week to increase awareness and public participation in its second annual American awards show.

The self-titled "X Games of Modern Music" has hired PR agency Global Talent Group, and plans to spend more than $500,000 on PR activities, including an extensive street-based guerrilla-marketing campaign in key clubs across the country, together with student-focused promotions and online viral-marketing campaigns, according to DanceStar founder Andy Ruffell.

"Dance music sometimes suffers unfairly from a nightclub-based scene," Ruffell said. "Dance music is more like a lifestyle; it's very commercial. American DJs are becoming global stars. That's something that we hope to promote more."

In addition to overall awareness and building of the DanceStar brand, the three-person in-house PR team, headed by Elliott Stares, will focus on driving people to its website, where participants can vote in award categories. "We're conservatively estimating 5 or 6 million votes," Stares said.

While Ruffell and Stares will spearhead the campaign, Global Talent Group will propose strategy as to the brand's direction, and attract potential sponsors.

The awards show will be broadcast in March on MTV2 in the US, as well as on MTV Europe and Star TV Asia, and online via webcast. According to Ruffell, the potential audience is 1 billion people.

The first annual awards was the most-watched dance-music TV show in history, and included appearances by Lenny Kravitz, Grandmaster Flash, Crystal Method, Pete Tong, and Goldie.

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